Soccerlens – Help For A Tortured Soul

Soccerlens – Help For A Tortured Soul


A letter in the Soccerlens postbag today came from a desperate sounding footballer. We have tried to give reassurance and sound advice to help him through what is clearly a dificult time.

Dear Soccerlens,

I am a twenty-eight year old footballer who has achieved a modicum of success in my career so far. I am probably best remembered for a goal I scored when I was eighteen but there have been a few more over the past ten years.

Bad mistake

I made one bad mistake in my life and now it is ruining everything. I know I can’t turn the clock back but I need to let somebody know just how badly everything has gone wrong.

I have suffered from a number of injuries over the years but despite that I have played three hundred league games at the very top of the game and scored over one hundred and fifty goals. My international record is not too shabby and I’ve hit the back of the net forty times in my eighty-nine games.

More than Emile Heskey

This season I am playing in a pretty poor side which is in a bit of a mess, yet I have scored three league goals which is less than Jermaine Defoe, but as many as Peter Crouch and more than Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey, who are all playing in decent sides.

That is where my problem lies. I have once again been overlooked by Fabio Capello for the England squad to play the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers. I am not sure what else I can do to prove I should be given a chance as I would like to think that my record stands for itself. The players I have mentioned above have all been selected ahead of me and between them, they have one hundred and fifty two caps and have scored thirty nine goals. That’s one less goal in sixty three more games. Am I going mad?

World soccer player of the year

  • I have scored goals for England at two World cups, two European championships, two World cup qualifying campaigns and three European qualifying campaigns.
  • I have won PFA young player of the year, BBC Sports Personality of the year and World soccer player of the year.
  • For England, I have never gone more than four games without scoring.
  • I am fourth in the all-time record scorers list for England.
  • I am the highest ever scorer for England in competitive matches with twenty-six goals.
  • I have captained my country seven times.
  • When asked about me the other day I understand that Mr. Capello said, “Is he in good form now? He’s scoring but it’s not enough to score goals. Sometimes I see games where a player has not played for 89 minutes and then scores a goal. It’s not enough. Goals are very important but not only goals. I have to decide on 23 players. I do not decide out of sympathy or because I like or dislike players. I decide on who I think is the best player at the moment.”

    I think I am in incredibly good form at the moment considering the mess my team is in and I am doing my best to keep a disjointed and dejected team together at a time of great stress as the captain. I really don’t think I could be doing much more than I am.


    I used to play for a Premiership team at which I was regarded as a hero. I then tried my luck with a big team abroad and that didn’t really work out for me. I only started fifteen games for that club but I scored a respectable eighteen goals. I was popular with the fans, especially after I scored a goal against their biggest rivals.

    When I left that club to come back to England I made this terrible mistake about which I have spoken. It was a mistake that has cost me dear and may have brought my fantastic international career to a premature end. I joined a club with fantastic support, huge potential but a pretty poor team and the type of behind the scenes nonsense that you just wouldn’t believe.

    I can still score goals

    I am stuck here until the end of this season I think although I desperately hope to get away in January. I know I can still score goals and I know that I should still be in the England set-up. It is just that whilst I stay where I am it seems I have no chance.

    Please can you advise me as to what I have to do to persuade Mr. Capello that I am worth a place at least in the squad?

    Thank you.

    MO. North East England.

    Dear MO,

    It seems that your record is, as you say, not too shabby. It is obvious that other countries would hate to see your name in the England squad as they know your ability to score goals in important games and the danger that you present when you pull on that shirt.

    As an outsider it is difficult to see why your name doesn’t appear on the list produced by Mr. Capello and I can only assume that he hasn’t been impressed by what you have done. He is clearly difficult to please, although he has been impressed apparently by Scott Carson, Wes Brown, Jolean Lescott, Matthew Upson, Wayne Bridge, Jermaine Jenas, Stewart Downing and Emile Heskey this season so far.

    It is clear that you need to try to emulate the heights and consistency of wonderful performances produced by these type of players.

    As Mr. Capello says, he has to pick who are proving themselves to be the best players at the moment. We all know how well Wayne Bridge, Wes Brown and Jolean Lescott are currently playing. That is what you need to do.

    Keep trying, get a new club and try to match the scoring exploits of Emile Heskey.

    Julian Dicks cost Liverpool more than Robbie Keane did
    Rotherham take the positives where they can
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    Graham is a 46 year old freelance football writer from Salisbury in England. He has a passion for football, in particular, Watford and the team he coaches, Wilton Town. Graham writes opinions and observations for various online sites,,, and Visit his football club's website at


    1. I for one don’t want him back at Liverpool, I hope he is forced to rot the rest of his career at second rate clubs like Newcastle. He sold Liverpool out for money and because he wanted to win the champions league, and guess what Liverpool won the year after he left?

      Then he went to Newcastle because they were offering the most money.

      Owen is just a football mercenary and now he is paying for his own stupid decisions

    2. Actually, I did 2 mistakes. The first one was leaving my beloved team- whose fans may have died 4 me…I shamelessly left it when it most needed me- i wanted money n more fame, n turned my back on a side, n fans who really needed a top class striker that season-which they finished fifth, just below aech-rivals everton…i feel terribly sorry…sometimes i think that move away from my formative club has cursed me…look at it that way- they won the champions league the year i left them, i have not yet won a piece of silverware since leaving them, i am injury-pronER , i am in a relegation-fighting team….

    3. JUST GO BACK TO LIVERPOOL PLEASE NOT ONLY U….UR CRAZY fans like me are bieng tortured aswell….nd dont join any other nonsense club….if not liverpool join atleast a club that has a good chance in europe…please please act fast ur fans are always behind you nd will always support u but u hav to listen to them aswell……GET OUT OF NEWCASTLE ASAP

    4. Michael you were one of the best prospects in football, we loved you and leaving was the biggest mistake of your life. The boy you left behind Steven Gerrard, did you see him win the CL? Did you see his partnership with Fernando Torres last season? Did you see his name in the England squad?

      I hope you never come back and if we do decide to have a dip for you, you will be nothing more than a back up for our back up.

    5. I’m From Argentina. We All Know the rivality between England And My Country. But you know, all we know, The entire world know that Michael Owen is one of the best football players of all time. He is fast, he es agile, he has a natural gift to make Goals (amazing goals, by the way) and he has the needed guts to keep England in the Top 4 of football national teams.

      I’m not sure about his actual form. But he is a professional, he can get the form that he wants and needs when he want to.

      Well, that’s all.

      See you and I hope to see a full scale England again. With Michael Owen, for sure. Long Live to the well-played football.
      And excuse me if I’ve some typos or syntax errors. This is the best I can write in English :p

    6. I actually think Owen is an asset at any club. I can remember him from when he was younger. The thing I remember most is when he scored 4 goals against Newcastle while he was still at Liverpool. At the end of the match the commentator read the score as Michael Owen 4 – Newcastle United 0. Unfortunately for Owen he seems to be stuck at Newcastle now.

      Surely there must be other clubs who want him. Portsmouth, Everton, Villa, Sunderland, are all stable clubs who have good managers. If he were to move to one of these teams I think he would be able to find some better form.

    7. Owen looks more and more like yesterday’s man.
      Huge mistake leaving Liverpool. As with Fowler, he has never been the same since.

    8. Heh heh. I’ve always enjoyed reading these ‘letters’. Ever think about doing one on Thierry Henry? I’d be interested in your take on his situation…

    9. screwed his career by leaving liverpool.
      messed up his life by going to real madrid.
      with capello being the england coach,, his days in international stage is gone up in smoke..

      cos with capello.. england is going down.. cos his selection is simply screwed up..

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